Q. Can nasal congestion develop hyposmia?

Answered by
Dr. Ranjit Peter
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 19, 2022 and last reviewed on: Dec 11, 2022

Hi doctor.

I think my sensitivity to smell has reduced. I can properly smell once later, but the scent is diminished. I know it is not due to COVID because I have done many tests over the past three weeks. Three weeks back, I had nasal congestion, and I could not smell anything, but now it is fine. A week after nasal congestion, my smelling ability was normal. One week back, I tested for a rapid PCR test, which was negative. This week, I took two rapid tests 24 to 36 hours apart, which were also negative. I do not blow my nose hard, but I notice very little blood when I clean my nose. Can nasal congestion develop hyposmia? What can be the reason for reduced smelling sense? I also clean my nose with a saltwater solution.



Welcome to

Based on what you have shared, I understand that you have been having a reduced sense of smell for more than three weeks. Yes, nasal congestion can cause a reduced sense of smell; however, in the presence of blood-stained discharge, it would be prudent to get an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physical examination and nasal endoscopy to rule out a nasal mass.

1) Do you have a background of nasal allergy - nasal congestion, running nose, itchy eyes, and nose? Bouts of sneezing when you wake up?

2) Do you have a background in bronchial asthma or any skin allergies?

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

When I say blood, it is mainly dried and not a lot either. I do not have a background of nasal allergy, sneezing in the morning, or asthma. The only thing I do know is that when I lay down, my nose gets clogged, but after standing up, it clears up, or I turn on my side, it clears up.



Welcome back to

I would suggest you try nasal rinses first. I suggest Neilmed sinus rinse kit. Do the nasal rinse as per instructions, which should give you relief. If there are persisting and recurrent streaks of blood or stains, I would suggest getting a physical check-up.

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